A Look At The New Game Ops

COLUMBUS,OH - October 15: Columbus Blue Jackets fans stream into Nationwide Arena prior to the start of the Blue Jackets home opener against the Chicago Blackhawks on October 15 2010 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio. This season marks the 10th season for the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

With the team starting their 10th anniversary season, one area that has been praised was the changes to the team's in-arena experience beginning in the pre-season and through the first home games.

From the addition of a new in-arena host, a new goal song, and additions to the vendors in the arena, there have been questions on just how the Blue Jackets had revamped the arena experience for the fans. 

With the help of CBJ Director of Business Communications Karen Davis and Manager of Communications Ryan Holtmann, I was able to ask a few questions - and get a few answers!

One of my first questions as the change in sound to the team's goal horn - the horn's sound is a bit deeper and more focused than it had been in the past. I actually wondered if the team had installed a new horn entirely, but it turns out it's the same horn - simply given a thorough tuning, maintenance, and clean up for its' 10th birthday. 

Tied into the changes to the goal horn is a new goal song - the team is still using the "For Those About To Rock" sting after a goal is scored, but now the "Crowd Chant" by Joe Satriani has been replaced with a portion of Airborne's "No Way But The Hard Way." 

The team will also be skating onto the ice using "No Way But The Hard Way" as their entrance song - a decision made to better fit the "Hardcore Hockey" theme for this year.

The team has also been praised for the increased use of replays and player stats on the jumbotrons during the game. This turns out to be a direct result of fan feedback - and something the team will make an effort to continue to increase during the season, though they will have to respect commitments to planned programming and advertising during games. However, the replays are being made "a high priority" according to Karen Davis.

The team has also made the move to incorporate more live music into the arena experience. The "Boom Jackets" drum line will return this year, mostly playing on the plazas outside the arena before games, but the team will feature live bands in the "Fan Lounge" at Section 117 on Saturday Nights and other "big games" as determined by the team. 

Leo Welsh is returning as the team's anthem singer, to the pleasure of CBJ fans, but there will be a set of "backup" performers for games where Leo is not available due to other commitments. 

I also asked if the team will be tailoring their in-game entertainment for certain games as part of the 10th anniversary, and they do plan to show several special features on the alumni nights, in addition to features of "Classic CBJ Moments" and recognizing season ticket holders.

It sounds like the Blue Jackets organization has made an effort to make the 10th anniversary season special. Here's hoping the team will do the same.

Anything you'd like to know about the new game ops? Anything you're hoping to see changed in the future? Speak up in the comments!

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